South Ogden was first settled by the Daniel Burch family, newly arrived from Kentucky with the Lorenzo Snow company of pioneers in 1848. In 1850, the settlement was named Burch Creek in his honor. It was in 1852 that Burch built a gristmill on the Weber River near the irrigation canal in nearby Riverdale. Burch Creek was a quiet area, even after the Ogden City Council built a six-room isolation facility for smallpox patients in the settlement in 1882. Then in 1890 came a flood of money investing in residential and commercial land developments. The first schools were built in 1897 but there was not enough water supply to serve the community's needs until 1934. Several times over the years the City of Ogden tried and failed to annex the area but the local need for roads, a sewer system, more water and sidewalks finally drove the residents of Burch Creek to seek incorporation. On July 6, 1936, the town of South Ogden opened for business. Construction of Hill Air Force Base fueled a major spurt in population in the 1940's and 1950's. Weber State University is on the east side of South Ogden.

A few years ago, South Ogden elected George Garwood to be the first African-American mayor in the history of Utah.